***** National Hockey League Previews from The Sports Network *****
Thursday, January 29
(All times Eastern)
MONTREAL CANADIENS (30-13-3) AT NEW YORK RANGERS (27-14-4), 7 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Canadiens try to build off a perfect
homestand on Thursday night as they hit the road for a game to take on the New
The Canadiens bested the visiting New York Islanders and Nashville Predators
before the All-Star break, then capped the perfect three-game stay at home on
Tuesday with a 3-2 decision over the Dallas Stars.
Carey Price made 40 saves to key the win, while Alex Galchenyuk scored for a
third game in a row. Brendan Gallagher and Alexei Emelin added goals for the
third-place Canadiens, who are one point back of Tampa Bay in the Atlantic
Division and two behind first-place Detroit.
Emelin did not get to celebrate the victory on the ice, however, as he was
ejected at 5:21 of the second period for a boarding major and game misconduct
call following a hit from behind on Dallas center Jason Spezza.
"Carey was solid for us again. We still scored three goals, which is a good
sign, but you could tell it was the first game after a five-day break,"
admitted head coach Michel Therrien on Montreal's website. "Our execution
wasn't there. At times, our concentration wasn't there, either."
Montreal will begin a four-game residency following this road contest and will
likely turn back to Price, who is 9-5-1 lifetime versus the Rangers with a
1.99 goals against average, .937 save percentage and five shutouts.
The Rangers may prefer to deal with Price tonight instead of the New York
Islanders, who beat their cross-town rivals for the third time in as many
meetings with Tuesday's 4-1 decision in Uniondale.
The Isles have outscored the Rangers 13-4 in the three games and nearly shut
out the Blueshirts on Tuesday before Carl Hagelin scored with 8.1 seconds to
Henrik Lundqvist came up with 34 saves in the loss, which halted the Rangers'
three-game win streak and leaves them fourth in the Metropolitan Division, one
point back of Washington and four back of second-place Pittsburgh.
"We haven't played well against this team (the Islanders), and it starts with
our will to compete, a will to want to make plays and have confidence,"
Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said. "We're just trying to catch these guys in
the standings. They're playing real well and they're pulling ahead here, so
we've got to find a way to consistently put a string of games together against
the teams that are ahead of us and in our division."
The Rangers play the first of four in a row at home tonight and Lundqvist is
14-12-2 in his career versus the Canadiens with a 2.75 goals against average
and .900 save percentage.
The Rangers and Canadiens have split the first two of three meetings this
season, with each club picking up a victory at home.
New York topped Montreal 5-0 on Nov. 23 at Madison Square Garden, with
Lundqvist posting 21 saves and five different Rangers lighting the lamp.
The Blueshirts have won four of their past six at home in this series, but the
Habs have claimed 13 of the previous 18 encounters overall.
WINNIPEG JETS (26-15-8) AT PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (20-22-7), 7 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - One drawback of the lengthy All-Star break is the chance
of losing positive momentum.
That may have been the case for the Winnipeg Jets, who look to rebound on
Thursday night against the hosting Philadelphia Flyers.
The Jets took a five-game winning streak into the break, but were bested 5-3
on the road by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. That has Winnipeg two
points behind Chicago and St. Louis for second place in the Central Division.
Adam Lowry and Chris Thorburn both had a goal and an assist versus the
Penguins, Jacob Trouba lit the lamp and Evander Kane picked up three assists.
Ondrej Pavelec made 25 saves in defeat.
"We were able to get a couple leads throughout the course of the game, but
weren't able to hold them," said Thorburn. "It's unfortunate."
Thorburn, though, picked up his third goal in four games, while Kane has
posted nine points in nine games.
The duo looks to stay hot tonight versus the Flyers, who have won the first
two of a five-game homestand and three of four overall.
Philadelphia needed a shootout to record a 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes on
Tuesday, with Wayne Simmonds notching the tiebreaker in the breakaway phase.
"It is always nice to get the extra point, I thought we played well tonight
and it was good to get that second point," said Simmonds.
Simmonds, R.J. Umberger and Michael Del Zotto all scored in regulation, while
Steve Mason got the win in relief of Ray Emery.
Emery was pulled after less than six minutes of action as he gave up two goals
on four shots faced. Mason, who hadn't played since Jan. 10 because of a
lower-body injury, made 22 saves on 23 shots.
The Flyers have won two straight and are 5-1-1 in their past seven games
versus the Jets, including a 4-3 victory in overtime at Winnipeg on Dec. 21.
Philadelphia rallied for that win, with Vincent Lecavalier's second goal of
the third period with 3:14 on the clock tying the game. Jakub Voracek then won
it 10 seconds into overtime with his second tally of the game.
Voracek, who had six points in last weekend's All-Star Game, leads the NHL
with 57 points and 40 assists.
BOSTON BRUINS (25-16-7) AT NEW YORK ISLANDERS (32-14-1), 7 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins hope to give their playoff hopes a big
second-half push on Thursday night as they visit the Metropolitan Division-
leading New York Islanders.
The Bruins are playing for the first time since last Wednesday's 3-2 shootout
loss to the Colorado Avalanche, just their second loss in eight games. Boston
went 6-1-3 in its final 10 games before the All-Star break to grab a seven-
point advantage for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Rust may be a factor tonight as the Bruins also were unable to practice on
Tuesday due to a snowstorm in the area before finally hitting the ice on
"Obviously, the break was nice," forward David Krejci told Boston's website on
Wednesday. "I thought we were finding our game just before the break, so
unfortunately, we didn't have practice (Tuesday), but I thought we did a
pretty good job today. So yeah, we've got to start where we left off, and now
we have to get back in a playoff position and try to climb up the standings."
Boston appeared headed towards two points a week ago, but Colorado tied the
game with 1:45 left in regulation and then got the lone goal of the shootout
from Nathan MacKinnon.
MacKinnon buried a wrister past Tuukka Rask -- who made 34 saves through
overtime -- to begin the shootout, while Reilly Smith, David Pastrnak and
Patrice Bergeron all came up empty on their chances.
Torey Krug and Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins.
"We played a good 58 minutes of hockey tonight," said Krug. "Killed a couple
of penalties, and then we just let them back in."
Bergeron returns to the Bruins off an excellent showing in Sunday's All-Star
Game as he scored a goal and assisted on four others. Coincidentally, all four
helpers came on goals scored by Islanders forward John Tavares.
Tavares picked up right where he left off on Tuesday as he scored in the
Islanders' 4-1 win over the New York Rangers. It marked the third time in as
many meetings this season that the Isles have bested the rival Blueshirts,
doing so by a combined 13-4 margin.
Jaroslav Halak nearly picked up another shutout over the Rangers, but yielded
a goal with 8.1 seconds to play. He ended up with 40 saves two weeks after
shutting out the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
"Everybody did a great job tonight," Halak said, "It's too bad they scored at
the end, but it's two points at home."
The Isles lead the Pittsburgh Penguins by three points for first place in the
Mikhail Grabovski returned from a five-game absence caused by a lower-body
injury to score, while Matt Martin and Ryan Strome also scored. Johnny Boychuk
notched two assists in the victory.
Tavares, meanwhile, has three goals and seven points over his last four games
and helped the Islanders surge to a win despite Kyle Okposo missing his first
game with an upper-body injury that is expected to sideline him for 6-to-8
Okposo is second on the Isles with 44 points, two fewer than Tavares.
The Islanders won the first of three meetings this season with the Bruins,
taking a 3-2 decision at Boston on Oct. 23. Backup Chad Johnson made 30 saves
and Boychuk returned to Beantown for the first time since getting traded by
the Bruins to the Isles on Oct. 4.
Halak figures to start tonight and is 8-3-0 versus Boston with a 1.86 goals
against average, .942 save percentage and two shutouts in 11 games.
Though the Isles have won four of the past five meetings overall, the Bruins
have taken nine of their last 12 trips to Long Island and got 35 saves from
backup Niklas Svedberg in the earlier meeting.
However, that loss is best remembered for defenseman Zdeno Chara exiting early
with a knee injury that sidelined him for 19 games.
Rask, meanwhile, is 6-3-0 versus the Islanders with a 2.52 GAA and .920 save
ARIZONA COYOTES (16-25-6) AT TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (22-23-4), 7:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Arizona Coyotes and Toronto Maple Leafs both have
been unable to snap their lengthy losing streaks following the All-Star break.
One club will finally catch a break on Thursday night as the Coyotes visit the
Leafs in a battle of teams riding seven-game losing streaks.
Arizona got the first crack at snapping its skid, but fell to 0-5-2 on its
slump with a 4-3 shootout setback to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. That
came despite the Coyotes scoring twice on their first four shots.
Connor Murphy and Martin Erat had the early tallies and Tobias Rieder also
scored, while Mike Smith made 39 saves through overtime.
"We have to learn how to play a one-goal game. It's always nice when you come
on the road and get a two-goal lead. You have to know and learn how to play
with it," Erat admitted.
The last four setbacks from Arizona have come at the start of an eight-game
road trip and the club has lost seven in a row for the first time since March
29-April 12, 2014.
However, the franchise has not lost eight straight since a club record-tying
10-game losing streak from Feb. 6-25, 1994 when it was still located in
One thing in the Coyotes' favor is the fact that they have won seven of their
past nine versus the Maple Leafs, including a 3-2 home victory on Nov. 4.
Antoine Vermette had the deciding goal and Smith made 28 saves.
James Reimer had 30 saves in defeat for the Leafs.
Toronto went into Wednesday night's meeting with the New Jersey Devils having
lost six straight in regulation, and though the Maple Leafs did not snap their
skid they did at least earn a point with a 2-1 setback in a shootout.
James van Riemsdyk netted the lone goal for the Maple Leafs, while Jonathan
Bernier stopped 22 shots.
"I thought we played a pretty solid game; the shootout is always a coin flip,"
van Riemsdyk said. "It's been a tough stretch for us, there's no hiding that."
Toronto fell to 3-14-1 in its past 18 games and played without captain Dion
Phaneuf due to a hand injury, an ailment that is expected to sideline the
defenseman on a week-to-week basis.
The Maple Leafs lost eight in a row from March 16-29 of last year.
DALLAS STARS (21-19-7) AT OTTAWA SENATORS (19-18-9), 7:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Jason Spezza makes his first return trip to Ottawa in a
Dallas Stars sweater on Thursday night as his new club takes on the Senators
hoping to avoid a third straight loss.
The 31-year-old Spezza was the second overall pick by the Senators franchise
in 2001 and he compiled 687 points (251 goals, 436 assists) over 686 games and
11 seasons with the club.
Spezza served as Ottawa's captain last season, but requested a trade last
spring and was dealt to Dallas on July 1 along with prospect Ludwig Karlsson,
while Ottawa received forwards Alex Chiasson, Alex Guptill, Nicolas Paul and a
second-round pick in 2015.
In his first season with the Stars, Spezza has posted eight goals and 27
assists while ranking third on the club with 35 points. He inked a four-year
extension with Dallas in November.
"It felt to be good back on the ice. This day has been circled on my calendar,
so it's nice to have it now and to get it over with (Thursday)," Spezza said
on Dallas' website. "It didn't feel different. It brought back some memories,
but (Thursday) is when it will be different being on the other side."
It won't be Spezza's first time facing the Senators since the trade as the
Stars picked up a 5-4 home victory over Ottawa on Jan. 13. The Sens led 3-1
after the first period, but the Stars netted four goals in the second frame.
Spezza did not record a point in Dallas' sixth straight victory over Ottawa.
The Stars have lost seven of their past 10 (3-5-2) overall as they came out of
the All-Star break with a 3-2 setback on Tuesday to the Montreal Canadiens,
who got 40 saves from Carey Price.
Jamie Benn scored for Dallas and assisted on a goal by Patrick Eaves, who
returned to the lineup after missing 21 straight with a broken foot. Kari
Lehtonen made 23 saves.
"We had a lot of shots, and the opportunities were there," Seguin said. "Carey
made some great saves tonight. He's one of the best goalies in the league."
Forwards Erik Cole and Brett Ritchie both missed the game with injuries, but
practiced on Wednesday and are questionable to return tonight.
Lehtonen, meanwhile, is 8-5-0 lifetime versus the Senators with a 2.86 goals
against average and .909 save percentage in 16 games (13 meetings).
Ottawa has been out of action since last Wednesday's 4-3 win over the Toronto
Maple Leafs. The Sens had lost three of four going in, but got a pair of goals
from defenseman Erik Karlsson.
Mike Hoffman posted a goal and an assist as he is tied for the NHL lead among
rookies with 16 goals, while Mika Zibanejad also lit the lamp.
Craig Anderson made 37 saves in the win.
"It was a big win for us," said Anderson. "We make sure the fans get
everything they pay for when we make it close at the end."
Robin Lehner is expected to get the start tonight and he is winless versus the
Stars, going 0-2-1 with a 3.98 GAA and .893 save percentage in three games
with two starts.
DETROIT RED WINGS (28-11-9) AT TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (30-15-4), 7:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The sizzling Detroit Red Wings hope to extend their lead
atop the Atlantic Division when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning for
Thursday's showdown at Amalie Arena.
Detroit has won six straight and eight of its last nine games and the surge
has pushed the Red Wings to the top of the Atlantic standings where they sit
one point ahead of Tampa Bay.
The Red Wings already had posted their longest winning streak of the season
when they recorded a fifth consecutive victory on Jan. 20, beating the
visiting Minnesota Wild in a shootout to head into the All-Star break with
their hot streak intact.
Detroit was able to extend the winning streak to six in its return from the
break on Tuesday, posting a 5-4 regulation win over the Florida Panthers. Luke
Glendening scored twice to help the Red Wings notch their first six-game
winning streak since Feb. 8-19, 2012.
Stephen Weiss posted a goal and two assists, Drew Miller scored a short-handed
goal and Henrik Zetterberg also lit the lamp in the win. Petr Mrazek made 37
saves to anchor the victory.
"We really battled it out. It wasn't always pretty, but you've got to get
those sometimes," Glendening said.
The Red Wings, who are 12-7-3 on the road this season, haven't won seven
straight since Jan. 12-23, 2012.
With No. 1 netminder Jimmy Howard still out with a torn groin, the Red Wings
could go with Mrazek in net again tonight. Mrazek's only career outing
against Tampa came on Dec. 15 of last season when he surrendered two goals in
a 3-0 home loss.
The Lightning entered the break on a three-game winning streak, but were
handed a 4-2 loss by Carolina on Tuesday. The regulation loss coupled with
Detroit's victory allowed the Red Wings to hop over Tampa for first place in
Tampa Bay allowed Hurricanes captain Eric Staal to score just 22 seconds into
Tuesday's game and the Bolts trailed for the rest of the game.
"You come out and give a goal up in the first 20 seconds of the game,
unacceptable, and it's basically an own goal," said Lightning coach Jon
Cedric Paquette and Brian Boyle supplied offense for the Lightning, while Ben
Bishop took the loss after stopping only 18 pucks.
Tampa is hoping to get back on track tonight when it aims for a ninth straight
home win. The Bolts haven't been defeated at Amalie Arena since dropping a 5-3
decision to Washington on Dec. 9 and boasts a 19-4-1 record as the host this
The Red Wings have suffered losses in their last two trips to Tampa and the
Lightning are 1-0 in the 2014-15 season series after picking up a 4-3 shootout
win in Detroit on Nov. 9. Tampa Bay has claimed five of the past six
encounters in this series.
The Bolts, who complete a brief two-game homestand Saturday against Columbus,
are expected to go with Bishop in net tonight. The club's No. 1 netminder owns
a stellar 5-1-0 record and 1.69 goals against average in his career against
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (21-22-3) AT FLORIDA PANTHERS (20-15-10), 7:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Florida Panthers have been a pleasant surprise for
most of the season, but the struggling club desperately needs a win Thursday
when it hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets at BB&T Center.
The Panthers were just one point out of a playoff spot in the Eastern
Conference following a three-game winning streak from Jan. 8-11, but the club
has fallen back in the postseason race thanks to its current five-game losing
Florida's 0-4-1 stretch began with a lopsided 8-2 loss at Winnipeg on Jan. 13,
a setback that put a sour ending on an otherwise solid 4-2-0 road trip. The
Panthers have since lost four straight to open a five-game homestand and are
hoping to salvage the finale tonight.
The Panthers, who currently are seven points out of a playoff spot, lost 5-4
against Detroit on Tuesday night. Florida held a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes,
but the Red Wings opened the second period with four unanswered goals to take
control of the game.
Florida would eventually cut the deficit to 5-4, but were unable to get the
Aleksander Barkov finished with a goal and two assists in the loss, while Nick
Bjugstad supplied a goal and a helper. Al Montoya made 10 saves in relief of
Roberto Luongo, who gave up five goals on 17 shots.
"There were a lot of guys that made some mistakes tonight that cost us some
goals," Florida head coach Gerard Gallant said. "It was the first game back
and was a sloppy game."
Brad Boyes and Brandon Pirri also scored for the Panthers, who are mired in
their first five-game losing streak since March 27-April 4 of last season.
Florida hasn't dropped six in a row since a 0-6-0 drought from April 11-21,
Luongo is expected to start again tonight and the veteran owns an 11-6-6 mark
and a 2.18 goals against average in 23 career outings against Columbus.
Florida also expects to have enforcer Shawn Thornton back in the lineup
tonight after he missed the last 20 games due to a groin injury. The veteran
forward has one goal, one assist and 27 penalty minutes in 22 games this
Columbus enters tonight's tilt 12 points out of a playoff spot in the East,
but the club has won three of its last four games and is a solid 15-7-1 since
the beginning of December.
The Blue Jackets were coming off a successful stint as All-Star Game host and
stayed at Nationwide Arena for Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals.
Cam Atkinson and Fedor Tyutin each had a goal and an assist to lead Columbus
to the home victory.
Ryan Johansen and Mark Letestu each scored a goal for the Blue Jackets, while
Curtis McElhinney stopped 25 shots in the win.
"It looked like both teams had four or five days off because it was sloppy,"
said Columbus head coach Todd Richards. "There wasn't much emotion on either
side and no one was playing good hockey."
McElhinney will likely start again tonight as he is expected to take over the
No. 1 role while franchise goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is sidelined for at
least the next month with a groin injury. McElhinney is 3-2-1 with a 2.62 GAA
in his career against Florida.
Columbus has dominated the Panthers in recent years, taking the past 10
meetings in this series. The Blue Jackets can sweep the three-game season
series with another win tonight against Florida, which last beat Columbus with
a 5-2 road win on Nov. 21, 2007.
The Jackets have taken five in a row on the road in this series. They are
11-10-1 as the guest this season.
NASHVILLE PREDATORS (31-10-5) AT ST. LOUIS BLUES (29-13-4), 8 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The red-hot St. Louis Blues will try to gain some ground
in the Central Division title race when they host the first-place Nashville
Predators in Thursday's matchup at Scottrade Center.
Nashville has been atop the Central for most of the season and the Predators
currently hold a five-point lead over both Chicago and the Blues.
However, St. Louis enters tonight's tilt boasting a 7-0-1 record over its last
eight games and is hoping to stay hot Thursday and gain some ground on
This evening's tilt marks St. Louis' first game after the All-Star break, as
the club hasn't played since beating Colorado 3-1 on Jan. 19. That victory
gave the Blues a 5-0-1 mark on a seven-game homestand that is set to end
St. Louis picked up its second straight win in its most recent trip to the
ice, with Jaden Schwartz tallying a power-play goal and an assist to help the
Blues down the visiting Avalanche.
Carl Gunnarsson and T.J. Oshie also scored in the win, Alexander Steen
extended his point streak to 10 games with two assists and Brian Elliott made
17 saves for the Blues.
"Tonight I thought was probably our best game this year, from the goalie out,"
said Steen, who has seven goals and 11 assists during his point streak.
Elliott will get the start in net tonight for the Blues, while backup Jake
Allen is slated to play tomorrow at Carolina.
In other news, St. Louis will no longer carry three goaltenders on its roster
as Martin Brodeur has decided to call it a career. The 42-year-old future Hall
of Famer spent his first 21 seasons with New Jersey before signing a one-year
deal with the Blues earlier this season. Brodeur will announce his retirement
from the sport at a press conference on Thursday morning at Scottrade Center
and then take on a job in the St. Louis front office.
Brodeur went 3-3-0 with a 2.87 goals against average in seven appearances with
St. Louis. He led the Devils to three Stanley Cup titles during his standout
career and he retires as the NHL's all-time leader in numerous categories,
including wins (691) and shutouts (125).
The Predators are trying to get by without franchise goaltender Pekka Rinne,
who suffered a lower-body injury earlier this month and will be sidelined for
at least the next few weeks.
Nashville is 2-1-1 since Rinne went down to injury and the Central leaders
halted a two-game slide when it emerged from the break to post a home overtime
victory against Colorado on Tuesday.
Craig Smith scored at 2:46 of the extra session to lift the Predators to a 4-3
Colorado had tied the game on Nick Holden's goal with 36 seconds left in
regulation, but Nashville was still able to win the game shortly after Carter
Hutton made a tough save on a Zach Redmond one-timer.
The Predators skated down the other way and Mike Ribeiro sent a saucer pass
from the right boards to the left for Smith, who skated down the middle and
snapped a wrister past Semyon Varlamov for the victory.
"It certainly wasn't what we wanted to do at the end of the game," said
Nashville head coach Peter Laviolette. "But I thought the guys came out with a
lot of energy in the overtime and I'm glad we were able to pull this one out."
Filip Forsberg, Colin Wilson and Roman Josi all scored while Ribeiro posted
three assists for the Predators, who had lost their final two games before the
All-Star break for their first losing streak of the season.
Hutton stopped 21 shots in the win. With Nashville also scheduled to play
tomorrow at Colorado, it's unclear if Hutton or Marek Mazanec will get the
call in net tonight.
Thursday's contest marks the start of a three-game road trip for the Preds,
who are 12-8-4 on the road this season.
Tonight's test marks the fourth and final regular-season meeting between the
Blues and Predators. Nashville is 2-1-0 against the Blues this season, winning
two straight on home ice since St. Louis notched a win at Scottrade Center on
The Blues, who own a 18-4-2 record as the host this season, have won three of
four and five of their past seven home games versus Nashville.
MINNESOTA WILD (21-20-6) AT CALGARY FLAMES (26-19-3), 9 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Calgary Flames will try to keep building their case
for the playoffs when they host the Minnesota Wild in Thursday's battle at the
Calgary picked up its fifth win in six games Tuesday, as the club began its
post-All-Star scheduled with a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. It marked a
positive start to a six-game homestand for the Flames, who ended a three-game
slide on home ice and improved to 12-9-2 as the host.
With 55 points, the Flames currently hold the last of two wild card spots in
the West. Calgary is one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for that
distinction and five points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the first wild card
Josh Jooris, Joe Colborne and Johnny Gaudreau scored in a span of eight-plus
minutes in the third period to help the Flames down Buffalo and the lowly
Sabres to a 12th straight loss.
Gaudreau added a first-period strike and Jiri Hudler added a pair of assists
for the Flames.
"We had some big goals," said Flames coach Bob Hartley. "In the second period
we could have scored four or five goals. We missed the net on a few occasions,
but I felt that we got our legs."
Jonas Hiller backed up his timely offense with a 17-save effort, his first win
since Dec. 31. Hiller will start again tonight and own an 11-5-1 record and
2.39 goals against average in his career against Minnesota.
The Wild ended a two-game slide in its first game following the break, picking
up a 2-1 regulation win Tuesday in Edmonton. The close victory improved
Minnesota's record over the last five games to 3-1-1, but the club is still
seven points behind Calgary for the West's last playoff spot.
Charlie Coyle scored Tuesday's game-winning goal with 4:23 remaining in
regulation. The deciding effort came after Coyle skated down the left side
past two defenders, dragged Viktor Fasth out of his net and capped off the
play by tucking the puck into the net from below the goal line.
"We came out to win, that's all that matters," Coyle said. "It's always nice
to help out on the scoresheet."
Nino Niederreiter also scored and Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves for the Wild, who
improved to 10-13-1 on the road this season.
Dubnyk is 2-1-0 since coming over from Arizona in a trade and he could get the
start again tonight. He is 6-5-3 with a 2.42 GAA in his career against
The Wild are playing the third part of a four-game road trip tonight and will
close the swing Sunday in Vancouver.
Tonight's game marks the first of three meetings between the Flames and Wild
this season. Minnesota is 6-2-1 over the past nine encounters, but Calgary has
claimed four of the past six meetings at the Saddledome.
BUFFALO SABRES (14-31-3) AT EDMONTON OILERS (12-27-9), 9:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Sabres will try to end the longest losing
streak in franchise history when they visit the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday in
a meeting between teams sitting last in their respective conferences.
Buffalo has lost 12 straight -- all in regulation -- for the longest slide in
club annals. The Sabres, who haven't won since Dec. 27 against the New York
Islanders, also are mired in the NHL's longest pointless stretch since the
Pittsburgh Penguins lost 13 in a row in regulation from Jan. 13-Feb. 12, 2004.
A loss of any kind tonight also would give Buffalo the longest winless stretch
in team history. With Tuesday's 4-1 loss at Calgary, the Sabres matched the
dubious franchise mark set from Nov. 23-Dec.20, 1991, when Buffalo went 0-8
with four ties during a 12-game span.
Buffalo enters tonight's tilt with an NHL-low 31 points, two less than the
Oilers, who are last in the Western Conference. Edmonton beat the Sabres
earlier this season, posting a 3-2 regulation win in Western New York on Nov.
7. That was the Oilers' second victory in the past three meetings after losing
their previous six encounters with Buffalo.
The Sabres have won four straight in Edmonton, but Buffalo has lost 12
straight (0-11-1) on the road. Buffalo's last win away from First Niagara
Center came in Montreal on Nov. 29.
Buffalo held a 1-0 lead Tuesday in Calgary, but the Flames scored the next
four goals to skate away with an easy win.
Chris Stewart netted the lone goal for the Sabres, while Jhonas Enroth stopped
27 shots in the setback.
"They turned it up a notch and we just couldn't keep up," Sabres coach Ted
Buffalo is playing the third part of a five-game road trip tonight. Nolan's
club will continue the swing tomorrow in Vancouver before capping it Tuesday
The Oilers had won two straight before the All-Star break but lost their first
game after the hiatus, dropping Tuesday's 2-1 decision against visiting
Minnesota. Charlie Coyle scored the game-winning goal with 4:23 remaining in
the third period.
Boyd Gordon provided Edmonton's lone goal and Viktor Fasth stopped 27-of-29
shots in defeat.
"We were flat and we have to respond next game," said Gordon. "We've been
playing well as of late and we saw that more in the third."
After tonight, Edmonton will play two straight and eight of its next nine on
the road. The road-heavy stretch begins Saturday in Calgary.
ANAHEIM DUCKS (32-10-6) AT SAN JOSE SHARKS (25-17-6), 10 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks will try to match their longest
winning streak of the season and extend their lead atop the NHL standings when
they visit the rival San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
The Ducks have won six straight and lead the NHL with 70 points, three more
than the Nashville Predators.
Another victory tonight would give Anaheim its third seven-game win streak of
the season. Bruce Boudreau's club won seven straight from Oct. 11-24 and again
from Dec. 1-13.
The Ducks won five straight before the All-Star break and kept the hot streak
going with Tuesday's 4-0 triumph in Vancouver. Frederik Andersen only needed
to stop 17 shots for his third shutout of the campaign and he improved to
27-6-5 on the season.
Andersen also tied an NHL record for the quickest goaltender to reach 47
career wins. The 25-year-old Dane reached the mark in 63 career decisions
(47-11-5) to tie Bill Durnan, who notched his 47th win for the Montreal
Canadiens on Nov. 26, 1944.
Rickard Rakell had a goal and an assist while Patrick Maroon, Matt Beleskey
and Kyle Palmieri also scored for the Ducks, who hold a 14-point lead over
second-place San Jose for the Pacific Division lead.
"The whole team is getting stronger," said Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm.
"We feel like we're playing good out there. We just need to keep it up."
Andersen, who has started 39 of 48 games for Anaheim this season, could get a
rare night off either tonight or on Friday when the Ducks are scheduled to
host Chicago. He is 5-0-1 with a 1.29 goals against average in six career
outings against the Sharks.
Ducks backup Ilya Bryzgalov, who last played on Jan. 16 against New Jersey, is
10-11-4 with a 2.35 GAA in his career versus San Jose.
The Sharks are playing their first game after the break tonight and they hope
to begin their post-All-Star schedule by continuing their run of success
against the first-place Ducks.
San Jose is 3-0-1 against the Ducks this season and tonight's matchup marks
the final regular-season meeting between the clubs in 2014-15. The Sharks have
claimed eight of 11 overall in this series and Anaheim has lost six straight
in San Jose.
Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi made 28 saves for a shutout victory when the
clubs last met on Dec. 31 in Anaheim. The 3-0 decision is just one of two
times this season the Ducks were shut out, with the other occurrence happening
on Oct. 30 in St. Louis.
San Jose hasn't played since beating Los Angeles on Jan. 21, when Logan
Couture had two goals and an assist to help the Sharks record a 4-2 victory.
That win came in the fourth segment of a seven-game homestand and pushed San
Jose's record at SAP Center to 12-8-3.
Patrick Marleau had a goal and an assist while Joe Pavelski also scored for
the Sharks, who snapped a two-game skid. Niemi allowed two goals on 28 shots.
"What is most satisfying is the competitiveness that we showed up with,"
Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said. "We have to capture it and be prepared
to bring it to the rink after the break every night."
Niemi could get the start tonight. He is 13-9-1 with a 2.48 GAA in 23 career
outings against the Ducks.
01/29 11:04:26 ET